Even though two of three incumbents are not seeking re-election, the candidate pool for Nebo School Board seats is full of experienced educators and governmental leaders.
Precinct 3Voters will choose between two experienced educators in electing their new representative for the 3rd Precinct, which consists of Spanish Fork, Lake Shore and Benjamin.
Either Jacky H. Caras or James W. Dunn will succeed Richard Johnson, who had two years remaining in his term before stepping down to run for a County Commission seat.
Jacky H. Caras, a lifelong resident of the Spanish Fork area, currently lives in Benjamin and is a reading educational technician at Payson Middle School, working with second-, fourth-, fifth- and sixth-grade students in helping them develop reading skills.
She is currently the president of Educational Technicians of Nebo School District and served as a board member of the Utah School Employees Association in 1989.
Caras said her experience may help her understand the district, and that currently the district is too fractured. "We work as individual groups and not as one group united."
James W. Dunn, a former teacher and principal, now serves as a professor of elementary education at Brigham Young University. A Benjamin resident, he worked for Nebo School District for 17 years, and as a principal, was Nebo's curriculum director.He said that while the district must continue to recruit quality teachers and use its finances appropriately, the most important education need for the district, state and county is to provide a more conducive teaching and learning environment.
"That is, and always will be, the central issue - providing an atmosphere so teachers can teach."
Richard Lamar Wilson, Payson, teaches elementary education at Brigham Young University. He is a former Nebo teacher and former principal of Payson Middle School.
He would like to see more shared management of the schools with teachers, parents and administrators working together. He said the district should try harder to retain the most effective teachers.
The schools can be run more efficiently, Wilson said, and produce a better product. "A good product is a student who leaves school with a good self image and life skills," he said.
Lew Christensen, Salem, has served on the Utah County Planning Commission and was a judge in Salem for 14 years. He is owner of a carbon supply company and a trucking company. He is also a farmer and a rancher.
Christensen supports more accountability from every department to eliminate waste. "I think that the people deserve a dollar's worth of education for every dollar they put in."
The district should tighten its financial belt, Christensen said, and procedures should be reviewed more often.
Incumbent Dean Bristow is not seeking re-election; he ran an unsuccessful campaign for Congress.
Two Springville residents are seeking to represent the 5th Precinct. Incumbent Bonnie J. Palmer, 316 S. 800 East, is running against C. Garn Coombs, 1200 E. 50 North.
Bonnie J. Palmer has been on the school board for four years. She received the 1990 Award of Distinction for outstanding boardsmanship from the Utah School Boards Association.
"As a board member, I have learned that solving problems in a variety of ways is the biggest part of my job," said Palmer. "I enjoy working with our parents, teachers, administrators and staff as we all try to make education in Nebo District a positive, rewarding experience for all of our students."
Palmer is a lifetime resident of Springville, a graduate of Springville High School and Brigham Young University.
C. Garn Coombs is chairman of the department of secondary education at Brigham Young University. As a former schoolteacher, he would like to see the Nebo School Board give more support to teachers.
"I believe the board members should make policy and support the people hired in the school district to do the job," said Coombs, comparing the school board to the legislative branch of government and the district employees to the executive branch.
"I am aware of many things happening in education," said Coombs. His knowledge can help the Nebo School District. He said an example of that help is his understanding of how the Nebo School District take advantage of state money appropriated to bring technology into the schools.